VLC 3.0 Is Here and It’s Packed With New Features
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Around these parts, VLC needs no introduction. It’s the world’s best media player, it’s open source, it’s free to use, and it will play almost any video or audio format, no matter how obscure.

Now, after years of testing, VLC 3.0 has finally arrived. And this release is rather special because it brings version, feature, and visual parity between its desktop and mobile clients.

VLC 3.0 Vetinari is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Apple TV, Android TV, Chrome OS, and Android. In this article, we take a look at all of the new features that come with it.

Download: VLC 3.0 (Free)

What’s So Great About VLC?

VLC has a rich history of delivering a best-in-class media experience. The app was launched in 2001, and even after 17 years it’s still going strong. VLC is a gem of an app 6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know About 6 Awesome VLC Features You May Not Know About There's a reason VLC is called the Swiss Army Knife of media players. This article identifies six awesome VLC features and explains how to use them. Read More .

There’s no big corporation behind VLC, and you won’t find any bundled adware in the installer. VLC is barebones (sometimes to a fault). In some ways, VLC still looks like an early 2000s Windows application. It’s all about function over form.

But what it lacks in snazzy visuals, the app makes up in features. VLC has always been known for its ability to play anything you throw at it. And now, with VLC 3.0, this even includes 8K 360-degree videos, which are as rare as hen’s teeth.

VLC 3.0’s Visual Overhaul

VLC 3.0 for Mac UI 1

The first thing you’ll notice after updating to VLC 3.0 on the desktop is the logo. The VLC logo has been flattened, and the colors have been desaturated. The effect is that the VLC traffic cone logo no longer looks lifelike.

VLC 3.0 for Mac UI 2

You’ll then notice the new video player user interface. On the Mac, VLC’s player now has a dark theme by default. The Mac app also gains a menu bar utility that lets you easily control playback. This little addition will start to make sense when we talk about the new Chromecast integration.

VLC 3.0 Finally Supports Chromecast

VLC 3.0 features

It took VLC years to get here (we were talking about Chromecast support in 2014). But finally, VLC has Chromecast support across all of its platforms.

This was well worth the wait because VLC will play all of its supported formats on Chromecast. And that’s a big deal. VLC will transcode your media on your device and then stream it to Chromecast. You can then use the VLC app as a playback controller.

On Android and iOS, you’ll find the Chromecast icon at the top of your screen during playback. If you’re using Windows and Mac, finding this option isn’t as straightforward.

On Windows, click on Video > Renderer > Scan. If the Chromecast is turned on and on the same network, it will show up on the list. Click on your Chromecast to switch to it. On a Mac, the same Renderer option can be found under the Playback option.

We have previously discussed how to stream videos from VLC to Chromecast How to Stream Videos From VLC to Chromecast How to Stream Videos From VLC to Chromecast You can now stream videos from VLC to your Chromecast. Something VLC users have been requesting for a long time. In this article we explain how to get it working... Read More , so if this feature is important to you be sure to check out that article.

VLC 3.0 Supports 4K and 8K Playback

VLC 3.0 supports hardware decoding by default. While this takes a toll on your CPU and battery life, it enables smoother 4K and 8K playback even on a low-powered device.

As an example you can see above, VideoLAN, the developers behind VLC, has demoed a 48fps 8K 360-degree video running smoothly on a Samsung Galaxy S8.

VLC 3.0 Supports HEVC and Hardware Acceleration

VLC 3.0 supports HEVC

HEVC stands for High Efficiency Video Coding. Devices like iPhone already let you shoot video in the H.265 HEVC format. And while VLC always had great codec support for H.265 videos, VLC 3.0 takes it to a new level.

Now, HEVC videos are hardware-accelerated. This means that if you’re playing a 4K video that hasn’t been decompressed, VLC should be able to tackle it just fine (even on Android).

VLC 3.0 Supports 360-Degree Videos

VLC 3.0 supports 360 views

360-degree videos The 10 Most Insane 360-Degree Videos From Facebook The 10 Most Insane 360-Degree Videos From Facebook You've probably seen a couple of Facebook's mesmerizing 360-degree videos already. Most are great, but some are downright incredible. Here are 10 of our favorites. Read More are all the rage right now. You’ll find them on YouTube and on Facebook. VLC can now play a 360-degree video by default, across all platforms.

This is big news for Android users who use Google Cardboard for VR apps 20 Best VR Apps for Google Cardboard 20 Best VR Apps for Google Cardboard If you have a Google Cardboard, you need to download these apps. Read More . You can now watch 360-degree videos on your phone, in VR mode, without the need for an active internet connection. Along with support for 360-degree videos, VLC also now supports 3D audio with viewpoint change.

When watching a 360-degree video, on the desktop, you can use your mouse to move around. If you’re on a smartphone insteads, swiping with your finger does the trick. To zoom in or out, just use the pinch gesture.

VLC 3.0 Supports HDR

VLC 3.0 supports HDR

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the latest upgrade in video technology. And unlike 3D, it isn’t just a gimmick. HDR improves color accuracy, letting you view colors which are closer to real life. HDR also brings better contrast ratio. This enables much brighter whites and much darker blacks. Which is why it’s becoming a standard feature on the best 4K televisions The Best Affordable 4K HDR Smart TVs You Can Buy The Best Affordable 4K HDR Smart TVs You Can Buy Those in the market for a new Smart TV have a tough choice to make. It's not a gadget that you upgrade often, so you want something future-proof. So, what do you get? Read More .

If you’re using an iPad Pro iPad Pro 10.5 Review: Is the Best iPad Good Enough? iPad Pro 10.5 Review: Is the Best iPad Good Enough? The 9.7 inch iPad Pro was the shortest lived tablet in Apple's history, surviving only 15 months before being succeeded by the new 10.5 inch model. So does 0.8 inches do enough to close the... Read More , one of the new iPhones, or one of the few new Windows laptops that come with HDR, this is great news as you’ll be able to play HDR videos right out of the box using VLC 3.0.

What Else Is New in VLC 3.0?

VLC 3.0 mobile

This release is jam-packed with countless new features:

  • The iOS app has been updated for the iPhone X resolution.
  • VLC on iOS and Android now supports new distant network browsing protocols like FTP (File Transfer Protocol), SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), and NFS (Network File System).
  • There’s support for Ambisonics audio and more than 8 audio channels.
  • OpenGL as Linux/BSD default video output.
  • HDR10 support in Direct3D11 will come with the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update.

If you’ve been using VLC for the past couple of years, this should be one of those instant-update situations. If you’re not using VLC yet, well, we recommend you give it a shot. With VLC 3.0 being so jam-packed with features there’s no better time than now.

Download: VLC 3.0 (Free)

Explore more about: 8K, Chromecast, HDR, VLC Media Player.

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  1. Widgetsdaddy
    March 21, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Does this support AAC 6 & 7 audio codecs? My biggest beef with VLC is that it's lagged behind in audio. MPC and GOM players have been playing the latest audio for ages but not VLC. I even wrote to them but they didn't reply.

  2. Watcher
    March 13, 2018 at 10:46 am

    It still can't play a Blu-ray as smooth as MPC-HC. And PowerDVD 17 is even better than these as it can play Blu-ray Java menus with ease as well as DVD menus!

  3. VonStroheim
    March 11, 2018 at 12:20 am

    All I've wanted is for VLC to be able to step back and forth frame by frame and audio scrubbing. Been waiting since 2005 and since it hasn't been implemented, I've moved on to better players.

  4. Abhi
    March 7, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Daum PotPlayer is better than VLC in every way. Unfortunately, it doesn't get as much attention as VLC.

    • Jonathan
      March 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Absolutely agree. PotPlayer is hands down the best free video software.

    • tsreb
      March 7, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      One problem.... it only works on windows, while VLC works on Windows, MAC, Linux, Droid and IOS....

    • Kassandra
      March 7, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      If you only wish to use Windows!

  5. ReadandShare
    March 6, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I've been using MediaMonkey for years. It works, but it is also a 'heavy' program. I would switch to VLC if the darn thing could support adding lyrics manually. Last I checked (a few years ago), there was an add on to search/download lyrics -- but only for English songs AFAIK. A pity.